Haredim protest in the neighborhood of Mea She'arim in Jerusalem
Haredim protest in the neighborhood of Mea She'arim in Jerusalem on May 17, 2010. Photo by Daniel Bar-On
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When I was a little girl, I was told a fable whose lesson has accompanied me to this very day: The sun and the wind looked at the earth together and saw a man walking in the street wearing a coat. They made a bet among themselves who will succeed in removing the man’s coat. The wind was the first to try. It blew and blew with all its might, but the man was cold, so he closed the coat and held on to it tightly. The wind wouldn’t give up and it called upon the rain and the snow to come to its assistance, but all of them together only made the man hold on that much tighter to his coat and walk faster. When the wind finally called it quits, it was the sun’s turn to give it a try; and lo and behold, the minute the wind stopped blowing, the sky calmed down and the sun came out to warm the earth, the man willingly removed his coat since he didn’t need it anymore.

In our reality, on the other hand, no one has bothered to learn any lessons from childhood tales and again we see violence, again in Beit Shemesh and again the same war raises its ugly head. The orthodox vs. the secular, right wing against left wing, and as always, the main point is forgotten, as well as the facts on the ground. The reality is that a group of radicals that believes that it can force the citizens in the State of Israel to succumb to its rules through violence is living in Beit Shemesh. Ironically, they have recruited the wind (spirit) to their assistance to try and rule the entire city. If they had known this simple fable they would understand that only kindness has the power to move mountains; if you attack, you will encounter resistance, whereas no one can resist kindness.

These insights are not my own, they are written in the Torah and in the Jewish book of laws. I learned recently by very special people that what separates the Jewish religion from all other religions and philosophies in the world is that the Jewish religion strives for togetherness, the connection between people. Many Jewish laws talk about this connection from different aspects. If tis so, how can it be that basic manners was so easily forgotten from the minds of those that claim to be God's emissaries? Those that think that theirs is the only truth? How dare they stone a woman whose only crime was to hang commercial banners on the street or to bully an 8-year-old girl? This behavior mainly shows a lack of sanity and orientation, not to mention God.

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